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Young Writers Project: Dearest Fellow Vermonters

08/27/12 6:00AM
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Leah Kelleher is in 8th grade at Albert D. Lawton Intermediate School in Essex Junction.  Leah’s piece, Dearest Fellow Vermonters, was among the top three finalists in a writing challenge about the Future of Vermont co-sponsored by Young Writers Project and the Chittenden County Regional Planning Commission’s ECOS Project. The prompt was to write about Vermont, specifically Chittenden County, in the year 2035 when the population of the county is expected to increase by 50,000.  


Dearest Fellow Vermonters
By Leah Kelleher
Grade 8, Albert D. Lawton Intermediate School

What will be the future of our little Vermont? Here we sit doing our everyday lives, but will that change? Some say that the future holds nothing but destruction. In some ways they are right. I mean when you think about it, it’s what humans do.

Tell me, when you think of Vermont, what do you see? I tell you what I see. I see green, trees, farms, growth and life.

In 25 years we may not have that if we don't control our growth in population. Vermont as it is has too many people; limited resources, too.

If Vermont were cut off right now from all imports, it wouldn't be able to provide enough for its people for even a day. That is, if it came to that. Now imagine 50,000 more people. That is only in Chittenden County. That is an estimate of over 2,000 more people. Vermont can only sustain so many human beings.

Ask yourself, what does this do to the environment? We already have quite a bit of water pollution and waste in our atmosphere.

We have to face the fact that more people will lead Vermont into chaos.

Vermont is known for its beauty. Just ask any of the people living here.

As we know, more people equals more houses. The more houses built means losing what Vermont is known for: its gorgeous trees. Imagine this, Vermonters, a fall without the lovely oranges, reds and yellows. No more clean, crisp September air. Instead, the smell of gasoline and burning rubbish fills your nostrils. Do we want that? Of course not!

Let me tell you, I already have a hard time looking at the ugly hydro plant as I drive by on my way to Agway. More people would mean more of those hideous plants.

Do we need more nuclear plants? We know how dangerous they can be from the devastation in Japan. More people may lead to more of these plants around Vermont.

I want you to think about what I have just said for a moment before I move on to some good things about having more people. Though I believe more people in Vermont is not a very logical idea I must say that Vermont is known for its diversity and down-to-earth people.

More diversity may be a good thing for tiny Vermont. Essex Junction, for example, is a great community to be a part of. For one thing, we do stuff to support our community such as the farmers markets. We also have organizations such as the Boy Scouts and Little League Baseball.

Vermonters help each other out; they give to the community. We also are very accepting. Well, what can I say, if you live in Vermont, you must know the saying, "It's a small world, after all."

Well, it won't be if the population keeps increasing as much as it has the last couple of years. People should just know (in my opinion) the threats to Vermont, and the world if we don't control our population growth. And don't tell me we can't control it, because human beings can. We are all in this together and that means we need to work together to figure out a way to help our Earth, our Vermont. I am just a child, so what do I know?

Well, I will tell you this: no one can foretell what the future holds.

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